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4529.0.00.002 - Bridging the data gaps for family, domestic and sexual violence, 2013  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/11/2013  First Issue
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BUILDING A FLEXIBLE EVIDENCE BASE

A number of information units can be collected about who is involved and in what events they are involved, as illustrated in Diagram 5. It is important to note that a number of data items, such as location, age, gender, etc. would need to be collected to provide information about the units outlined below.

Diagram 5 shows the information needed to answer a question as victim, perpetrator, witness, secondary victim, family violence, domestic violence and sexual violence
A range of statistical information can be created from the same data providing that data are collected in information units that allow for the generation of different combinations. Frameworks (such as Defining the data challenge) often identify counting units of interest for a particular topic. As people are central to these issues, the most commonly used counting unit is a person. To support the National Plan and to improve the evidence base for family, domestic and sexual violence there were three key information units identified for counting; person, transaction and event.

These three units are influenced by a range of contextual factors that relate to systemic, community or individual characteristics as well as the formation and effect of attitudes (Diagram 6). The context element, illustrated in the blue box, reflects that the information included occurs outside of a family, domestic and sexual violence event. It comprises information about the factors that shape understandings of family, domestic and sexual violence including aspects that influence community and individual attitudes, changes to policy and education campaigns. While many of the components in this element are not ideally suited to statistical measurement, a number of sources of information may be consulted to build an understanding. It is expected that a large proportion of this information could be collected through survey data.
Diagram 6: Information units for family, domestic and sexual violence
The grey box includes information that is likely to be extracted from administrative by-product data and is specific to an event of family, domestic and sexual violence. The ‘event’ unit consists of information about the incident, such as date, time and location as well as information about the other two units: person and transaction.

Person level information is collected by a number of organisations and the type of information collected is determined by the function of the organisation (e.g. courts focus on defendants and services against sexual violence focus on victims). Likewise transaction information is collected by a range of organisations. Formal transactions involve a person reporting to or engaging with services provided by formal systems that focus on detection (criminal justice system) and support (health and community services). While formal transaction data are captured as a by-product of administrative processes informal transactions are actions that do not, by their nature, involve reporting to a formal organisation. Information is required about informal responses to family, domestic and sexual violence, including why people do not report or engage with services, however this information is best collected by a survey.

It is important to note that Diagram 6 does not outline the data requirements in detail. This information will be included in the forthcoming National Data Collection Reporting Framework. It does, however, provide a succinct way to further assess the utility of current data collections for family domestic and sexual violence.

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